Over the weekend, United Spirits reported its results for the first nine months of its fiscal-2017. Here's a closer look at the Diageo-controlled company's segment and brand performance in the nine months to the end of December.

  • Popular Segment - 59% of group volumes, 42% of sales

United Spirits' mainstream stable posted a four percentage-point decrease in volumes on a year-on-year basis with sales in value terms down by five percentage points. The group noted that the total popular segment in India fell in the nine-month period by 7% in volumes and by 5% in sales.

The main drag on the segment came from the introduction of prohibition in the Bihar state earlier in the year.

Despite this, United Spirits highlighted the performance of McDowell's No 1 Rum, Bagpiper, Director's Special and Haywards for growing sales by volume and value in the country's "Priority states".

  • Prestige & Above Segment - 41% of group volumes, 58% of sales

The higher-end stable posted growth in the year-to-date, with volumes rising by four percentage points and value up by five percentage points. While the Government's de-monetisation campaign pulled on the group's third-quarter performance, the Prestige & Above segment saw its sales in the three-month period jump by 12%.

Brand-wise, the premium segment benefitted from improved sales for McDowell's No 1 whisky as well as Royal Challenge, the latter growing its value sales by 23% in the nine-month period "despite lapping a strong growth following the re-launch in 2014".

A raft of new products also boosted performance, including McDowell's No 1 Silk, Royal Challenge Bolt and a new version of Captain Morgan 'Original Rum'.

Finally, United Spirits noted that it had increased its marketing spend in both the third-quarter and the year-to-date, by 6% and 16%, respectively.

To access the unit's official results statement, click here.